For blood-thirsty criminals, pirates sure are popularrrrrgh. (Had to get that out of the way right up front.) From the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to the good-at-first-but-progressively-declining-but-slightly-better-at-the-end movie series, Disney pirates have become a franchise to be reckoned with.
Not to miss an opportunity, Walt Disney World has created a multitude of pirate-themed experiences for you and your little pillagers. So many, in fact, that I’m going to have to do multiple posts on the subject. (I don’t mind.)
Pirate Attractions at Magic Kingdom
- Pirate Attractions at Magic Kingdom
- 1. Pirates of the Caribbean
- 2. The Pirates League
- 3. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial
- 4. Peter Pan’s Flight
- 5. Tortuga Tavern
- Pirates beyond Magic Kingdom
- 1. Jake and the Never Land Pirates in Disney Junior—Live on Stage!
- 2. Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
- 3. Pirate Adventure (for kids)
- 4. Adventure Room in World of Disney
- 5. Pirates of the Caribbean — Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest
- Pirate Themes at Walt Disney Resorts
- 1. Pirate Rooms in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- 2. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts
- 3. Me Pirate Adventure In-Room Experience
So, to start off, here are five things to do in the Magic Kingdom if you love pirates:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
What is left to be said about this classic attraction? Some love the more recent changes to coincide with überly successful film series; some hate them. I, for one, don’t mind them, and the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow to the attraction has actually proved useful to me. On more than one occasion, the combination of darkness and skeletons has intimidated one of my nieces or nephews, and we’ve only made it through the attraction by making it a game of hide-and-seek, with our job being to find Captain Jack.
2. The Pirates League
What the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is too little princesses, The Pirates League is too little swashbucklers. Currently priced at $29.95 (for all ages—yes, adults can do it too!), you get an official pirate name, makeover, some pirate accessories, and a portrait—and you get to participate in the daily Adventureland Pirate Parade. I have to admit I’ve never seen this parade take place, although I’ve seen plenty of piratized little kids running around the parks.
3. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial
That’s right: you can learn pirate mannerisms directly from Captain Jack. I haven’t had a chance to catch this show yet, but you can see it several times a day in Adventureland. Here’s how Disney’s website describes it: “Through high-spirited instruction and audience participation, learn the not-so-gentle art of being a pirate!” (not-so-gentle?)
4. Peter Pan’s Flight
Just to remind kids that before pirates were the heroes of the Caribbean, they were the villains of Never Land. And you get to ride in a flying pirate ship.
5. Tortuga Tavern
The menu of this restaurant isn’t very pirates (it’s Mexican food), but there are some fun references to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It’s only open seasonally, so if you spot it open, head inside!
You can easily have all these pirate adventures in one day. Book your appointment at The Pirates League by calling (407) WDW-CREW. Then, when you get to the Park, check the Times Guide for the schedule of Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate Tutorials, and fit the attractions and your Mexican-pirate lunch in between.
Pirates beyond Magic Kingdom
Here are five things to do in Walt Disney World outside of Magic Kingdom if you love pirates.
1. Jake and the Never Land Pirates in Disney Junior—Live on Stage!
As I mentioned in my post on Peter Pan and his mortal enemies, I’ve never watched Jake and the Never Land Pirates, although it’s popular with my nephews. If you or your kids love pirates, you’re probably familiar with it. In Disney Junior—Live on Stage! you’ll get to see Mr. Smee, Captain Hook, Jake, Cubby, Izzy, and Skully. You can also meet Jake in the Stars of Disney Junior meet-and-greet location outside the theater and at the Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine at Hollywood & Vine character meal.
2. Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
This is another special experience I talked about in my Peter Pan post. You’ll get to meet Mr. Smee and Captain Hook, and you’ll hear stories from your pirate host, Patch. More information, including prices, is available on the Disney website.
3. Pirate Adventure (for kids)
The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is designed for pirate enthusiasts of all ages, but if your child is the one obsessed with pirates, there’s an additional experience available only to them. Disney’s two-hour pirate cruises are for kids aged 4 to 12 and depart daily at 9:30 a.m. from select hotels, such as Yacht and Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Port Orleans Riverside.
According to the Disney website, the kids “board a pirate-themed boat and scour the waterways around Walt Disney World Resort in search of pirate treasure during a swashbuckling high-seas adventure.” They get a snack and a bag of pirate booty. They might also come back talking like pirates. My nieces and nephews are still a little young for this, but I could imagine them enjoying it when they’re a little older.
This one is a little different than usual because it’s only for kids. Since the pirate cruises leave at 9:30 in the morning, your kids will have to start off there… unless you schedule an early breakfast at Hollywood & Vine for Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine. My only hesitation with that plan is that you’d have to leave the park to bring your kids to the dock and then return to the park afterward, adding travel time, but it’s up to you.
While your kids are cruising, you can choose whichever pirate or non-pirate activities you’d like to engage in. When the cruise is over, I would suggest going to (or returning to) Disney’s Hollywood Studios. See Disney Junior—Live on Stage! and try to catch Jake at the meet-and-greet. If you didn’t do the character breakfast, you could consider doing the lunch instead. When you’re done in Hollywood Studios, head over to Downtown Disney.
4. Adventure Room in World of Disney
In 2006, the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney Marketplace had some remodeling, including the addition of a pirate-themed Adventure Room. Although I’ve been in this room many times, I don’t have any good photos of it, but this is the entrance you’ll go in to find it. (It was November, so Stitch was wearing a Santa hat instead of the usual pirate hat.)
There are skeletons and treasure chests, and lots of pirate merchandise for purchase, of course. There’s also a good photo op available with the skeleton outside (behind the ship’s wheel). You can see him better in photos on the Disney Parks Blog.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean — Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest
I’m not a huge DisneyQuest fan (I’d rather be in the Parks), but it can be a good way to use your Water Park Fun and More tickets on a rainy or cold day. I vaguely remember this pirate-themed attraction. It was like you were standing a ship’s deck, and there was lots of running back and forth trying to shoot cannons at another ship (I think we were short-handed). Obviously it didn’t make that much of an impression on me, but if you love pirates, it’s on the list.
You can stay there until early evening, and then you need to head over to the Contemporary for the fireworks cruise. Have fun, mateys!
Pirate Themes at Walt Disney Resorts
Here are three things do in Walt Disney World resorts if you love pirates.
1. Pirate Rooms in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
You might expect a Disney resort with “Caribbean” in its name to have some pirate connections, and you won’t be disappointed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. A few years ago, some rooms were converted to a pirate theme, complete with beds that look like pirate ships. Even the curtain that separates the room from the bathroom area has a skull on it. Unfortunately, I’ve never stayed in one of these rooms, so I don’t have any pictures to show you, but you can see some on the Disney website.
In addition to the pirate rooms, the pool at Caribbean Beach also has a pirate theme. It’s quite elaborate.
2. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts
If you’ve been to Disney’s BoardWalk area, you’ve probably seen Stormalong Bay, whether or not you knew what it was. It’s the pool area shared by Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts, and in fact, it’s more of a waterpark than a pool. The item of interest for pirate fans is a giant shipwreck that serves as an entrance to two waterslides.
3. Me Pirate Adventure In-Room Experience
If you’re looking for a pirate experience in addition to a pirate atmosphere, you can arrange for Me Pirate Adventure in any Disney resort. It’s pricey ($395) but sure to be unforgettable. Here’s the description from Disney Floral & Gifts:
“When you come back to your Walt Disney World® Resort room, you’ll find a mysterious door banner featuring a glowing pirate eye and the word “Beware!” Now, you know for sure there’s mischief afoot. Inside, next to an eerie, red-eyed skull is a note from Captain Jack that sets you on a quest. This and other pirate gear provide just what you need to live the life of a buccaneer. So, dig into your pirate sack and follow the riddles to Captain Jack’s chest…and…if you are a worthy crew, the treasure inside will be yours.”
If that adventure is a bit out of reach, Disney Floral & Gifts also offers a number of other packages (priced from $59 and up) that you can order to surprise the pirate-lovers in your life.
For the full in-room pirate experience, you’ll want to stay at Caribbean Beach. You have to be a guest at Beach Club or Yacht Club to swim at Stormalong Bay, but anyone can walk by and take photos, so you could choose to stay at Caribbean Beach and just walk over to Stormalong Bay while you’re visiting the BoardWalk. Or, you could stay at Caribbean Beach one night and then move over to Yacht Club or Beach Club. Bell services will transfer your luggage for you, so moving shouldn’t be too stressful if you just don’t unpack that much! Wherever you stay, you can arrange for Me Pirate Adventure or another in-room experience from Disney Floral & Gifts.